53 Works

Heliconiini butterflies can learn time-dependent reward associations

Wyatt Toure, Fletcher Young, W. McMillan & Stephen Montgomery
For many pollinators, flowers provide predictable temporal schedules of resource availability, meaning an ability to learn time-dependent information could be widely beneficial. However, this ability has only been demonstrated in a handful of species. Observational studies of Heliconius butterflies suggest that they may have an ability to form time-dependent foraging preferences. Heliconius are unique among butterflies in actively collecting pollen, a dietary behaviour linked to spatiotemporally faithful ‘trap-line’ foraging. Time-dependency of foraging preferences is hypothesised...

Bumblebee colony density on farmland is influenced by late-summer nectar supply and garden cover

Thomas Timberlake, Ian Vaughan, Mathilde Baude & Jane Memmott
1. Floral resources are important in limiting pollinator populations, but they are often highly variable across time and space and the effect of this variation on pollinator population dynamics is not well understood. The phenology (timing) of floral resources is thought to be important in structuring pollinator populations, but few studies have directly investigated this. 2. Our study quantifies the landscape composition, seasonal nectar and pollen supply, and Bombus terrestris colony density of 12 farms...

Detailed description of the new genus and speceis, Cretophengodes azari Li, Kundrata, Tihelka and Cai sp. nov.

Yan-Da Li, Robin Kundrata, Erik Tihelka, Zhenhua Liu, Diying Huang & Chenyang Cai
Bioluminescent beetles of the superfamily Elateroidea (fireflies, fire beetles, glow-worms) are the most speciose group of terrestrial light-producing animals. The evolution of bioluminescence in elateroids is associated with unusual morphological modifications, such as soft-bodiedness and neoteny, but the fragmentary nature of the fossil record discloses little about the origin of these adaptations. We report the discovery of a new bioluminescent elateroid beetle family from the mid-Cretaceous of northern Myanmar (ca. 99 Ma), Cretophengodidae fam. nov....

Supplementary data from: Decoupling of morphological disparity and taxonomic diversity during the end-Permian mass extinction

Junyu Wan, William Foster, Li Tian, Thomas Stubbs, Michael Benton, Xincheng Qiu & Aihua Yuan
An increasing number of unexpectedly diverse benthic communities are being reported from microbially-precipitated carbonate facies in shallow-marine platform settings after the end-Permian mass extinction. Ostracoda, which was one of the most diverse and abundant metazoan groups during this interval, recorded their greatest diversity and abundance associated with these facies. Previous studies, however, focused mainly on their taxonomic diversity and, therefore, left room for discussion of paleoecological significance. Here, we apply a morphometric method (semi-landmarks) to...

Experimental investigation of insect deposition in lentic environments and implications for formation of Konservat-Lagerstätten

Qingyi Tian, Shengyu Wang, Zixiao Yang, Maria McNamara, Michael Benton & Baoyu Jiang
Terrestrial insects are often remarkably well preserved in lacustrine Konservat-Lagerstätten. However, the assumption that carcasses should sink fast through the water column seems to contradict evidence that this scenario is unlikely due to excessive buoyancy and surface tension. The mechanisms that promote rapid and permanent emplacement onto the sediment surface (RPESS) of such terrestrial animal remains are not fully understood. Here we use taphonomic experiments to show that floating in water, growth of microbial biofilms...

Fossil microbodies are melanosomes: evaluating and rejecting the ‘fossilised decay-associated microbes’ hypothesis

Arindam Roy, Christopher Rogers, Thomas Clements, Michael Pittman, Olivier Habimana, Martin Peter & Jakob Vinther
Melanosomes are membrane-bound organelles of varying geometry, commonly found within a range of vertebrate tissues, that contain the pigment melanin. Melanosomes have been identified in the fossil record in many exceptionally preserved fossils allowing reconstructions of the coloration of many extinct animals. However, these microstructures have also been interpreted as “microbial cells” or melanin producing bacteria based on their geometric similarities to melanosomes. Here we test these two conflicting hypotheses experimentally. Our results demonstrate multiple...

The Camouflage Machine: Optimising protective colouration using deep learning with genetic algorithms

John Fennell, Laszlo Talas, Roland Baddeley, Innes Cuthill & Nicholas Scott-Samuel
Evolutionary biologists frequently wish to measure the fitness of alternative phenotypes using behavioural experiments. However, many phenotypes are complex. For example colouration: camouflage aims to make detection harder, while conspicuous signals (e.g. for warning or mate attraction) require the opposite. Identifying the hardest and easiest to find patterns is essential for understanding the evolutionary forces that shape protective colouration, but the parameter space of potential patterns (coloured visual textures) is vast, limiting previous empirical studies...

Groundwater recharge in Africa from ground based measurements

Alan MacDonald, Murray Lark, Richard Taylor, Tamiru Abiye, Helen Fallas, Guillaume Favreau, Ibrahim Goni, Seifu Kebede, Bridget Scanlon, James Sorenson, Moshood Tijani, Kirsty Upton & Charles West
This dataset comprises a map of groundwater recharge for Africa and a database of the 134 observations used to generate the map. The map shows long term average annual groundwater recharge in mm per annum relevant to the period 1970 to 2020. It is in the form of a GIS shapefile and is available as a layer package for ESRI and also as a georeferenced TIFF and BIL file for easy exchange with other software....

Catchment attributes and hydro-meteorological timeseries for 671 catchments across Great Britain (CAMELS-GB)

G. Coxon, N. Addor, J.P. Bloomfield, J. Freer, M. Fry, J. Hannaford, N.J.K. Howden, R. Lane, M. Lewis, E.L. Robinson, T. Wagener & R. Woods
This dataset provides hydro-meteorological timeseries and landscape attributes for 671 catchments across Great Britain. It collates river flows, catchment attributes and catchment boundaries from the UK National River Flow Archive together with a suite of new meteorological timeseries and catchment attributes. Daily timeseries for the time period 1st October 1970 to the 30th September 2015 are provided for a range of hydro-meteorological data (including rainfall, potential evapotranspiration, temperature, radiation, humidity and flow). A comprehensive set...

How do parents respond to OFSTED reports?

Ellen Greaves, Iftikhar Hussain, Birgitta Rabe & Imran Rasul

Newly discovered cichlid fish biodiversity threatened by hybridization with non-native species - Data supporting published version

Martin Genner, Tabitha Blackwell, Antonia Ford, Adam Ciezarek, Stephanie Bradbeer, Carlos Gracida-Juarez, Alan Smith, Benjamin Ngatunga, Asilatu Shechonge, Rashid Tamatamah, Graham Etherington, Wilfried Haerty, Federica Di Palma & George Turner
Invasive freshwater fish systems are known to readily hybridize with indigenous congeneric species, driving loss of unique and irreplaceable genetic resources. Here we reveal that newly discovered (2013-2016) evolutionarily significant populations of Korogwe tilapia (Oreochromis korogwe) from southern Tanzania are threatened by hybridization with the larger invasive Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus). We use a combination of morphology, microsatellite allele frequencies and whole genome sequences to show that O. korogwe from southern lakes (Nambawala, Rutamba and...

Reliably predicting pollinator abundance: challenges of calibrating process-based ecological models

Emma Gardner, Tom Breeze, Yann Clough, Henrik Smith, Katherine Baldock, Alistair Campbell, Michael Garratt, Mark Gillespie, William Kunin, Megan McKerchar, Jane Memmott, Simon Potts, Deepa Senapathi, Graham Stone, Felix Wäckers, Duncan Westbury, Andrew Wilby & Thomas Oliver
1. Pollination is a key ecosystem service for global agriculture but evidence of pollinator population declines is growing. Reliable spatial modelling of pollinator abundance is essential if we are to identify areas at risk of pollination service deficit and effectively target resources to support pollinator populations. Many models exist which predict pollinator abundance but few have been calibrated against observational data from multiple habitats to ensure their predictions are accurate. 2. We selected the most...

Data from: Ecological speciation in European whitefish is driven by a large‐gaped predator

Gunnar Öhlund, Mats Bodin, Karin Nilsson, Sven-Ola Öhlund, Kenyon Mobley, Alan Hudson, Mikael Peedu, Åke Brännström, Pia Bartels, Kim Præbel, Catherine Hein, Petter Johansson & Göran Englund
Lake‐dwelling fish that form species pairs/flocks characterized by body size divergence are important model systems for speciation research. Although several sources of divergent selection have been identified in these systems, their importance for driving the speciation process remains elusive. A major problem is that in retrospect, we cannot distinguish selection pressures that initiated divergence from those acting later in the process. To address this issue, we studied the initial stages of speciation in European whitefish...

Data from: Biomechanical properties of the jaws of two species of Clevosaurus and a reanalysis of rhynchocephalian dentary morphospace

Sofia Chambi-Trowell, David Whiteside, Mike Benton & Emily Rayfield
Rhynchocephalians were a successful, globally distributed group of diapsid reptiles that thrived in the Mesozoic. Multiple species of Clevosaurus existed worldwide in the Upper Triassic and Lower Jurassic, and they are characterised by shearing bladelike teeth perhaps functionally analogous to the carnassial teeth of mammals. Morphometric analysis shows that the dentary morphospace of clevosaurs differs significantly from that of other rhynchocephalians. Five Clevosaurus species occupied islands in the Bristol Channel archipelago of the UK, but...

Data from: Are British urban foxes (Vulpes vulpes) ‘bold’? The importance of understanding human-wildlife interactions in urban areas

Roberto Padovani, Zhuoyu Shi & Stephen Harris
Urban fox behaviour recorded during an extensive field experiment in Bristol, UK. We examined two different but inter-related behaviours, both of which influence a fox's propensity to take risks. Neophobia affects a fox's reaction to novelty in the environment, and wariness its reaction to potential threats. We investigated how social status and foraging social context influenced both behaviours in Bristol’s fox population. For further information please see Padovani et al. 2021.

Supplemental material for: Morphological phylogenetics evaluated using novel evolutionary simulations

Joseph Keating, Robert S Sansom, Mark D Sutton, Christopher G Knight & Russell J Garwood
Evolutionary inferences require reliable phylogenies. Morphological data has traditionally been analysed using maximum parsimony, but recent simulation studies have suggested that Bayesian analyses yield more accurate trees. This debate is ongoing, in part, because of ambiguity over modes of morphological evolution and a lack of appropriate models. Here we investigate phylogenetic methods using two novel simulation models – one in which morphological characters evolve stochastically along lineages and another in which individuals undergo selection. Both...

Wing: A suitable non-lethal tissue type for repeatable and rapid telomere length estimates in bats

Megan L. Power, Sarahjane Power, Mads F. Bertelsen, Gareth Jones & Emma C. Teeling
Telomeres are used increasingly in ecology and evolution as biomarkers for ageing and environmental stress, and are typically measured from DNA extracted from non-lethally sampled blood. However, obtaining blood is not always possible in field conditions and only limited amounts can be taken from small mammals, such as bats, which moreover lack nucleated red blood cells and hence yield relatively low amounts of DNA. As telomere length can vary within species according to age and...

Data from: Projected impacts of warming seas on commercially fished species at a biogeographic boundary of the European continental shelf

Katherine Maltby, Louise Rutterford, Jonathan Tinker, Martin Genner & Stephen Simpson
1. Projecting the future effects of climate change on marine fished populations can help prepare the fishing industry and management systems for resulting ecological, social and economic changes. Generating projections using multiple climate scenarios can provide valuable insights for fisheries stakeholders regarding uncertainty arising from future climate data. 2. Using a range of climate projections based on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change A1B, RCP4.5 and RCP8.5 climate scenarios, we modelled abundance of eight commercially...

An enigmatic Neodiapsid reptile from the Middle Triassic of England

Iacopo Cavicchini, Marta Zaher & Michael James Benton
The fossil record of early diapsids is sparse, specimens are uncommon and often incomplete, and phylogenetic relationships are hard to determine. A new taxon of stem-group neodiapsid, Feralisaurus corami from the Middle Triassic of Devon, south-western England, is here named and described from an incomplete but mostly articulated skeleton, comprising skull, vertebrae, pectoral girdle, ribs and the right forelimb. CT scanning and the resultant 3D model of the skeleton reveal anatomical details otherwise buried in...

Small shelly fossils and carbon isotopes from the early Cambrian (Stage 3-4) Mural Formation of western Laurentia

Christian B. Skovsted, Uwe Balthasar, Jakob Vinther & Erik Sperling
The extraordinary window of phosphatised and phosphatic Small Shelly Fossils (SSFs) during the early and middle Cambrian is an important testament to the radiation of biomineralising metazoans. While SSF are well known from most Cambrian palaeocontinents during this time interval, western Laurentia has relatively few SSF faunas. Here we describe a diverse SSF fauna from the early Cambrian (Stage 3-4) Mural Formation at three localities in Alberta and British Columbia, Canada, complemented by carbon isotope...

Categorical versus geometric morphometric approaches to characterising the evolution of morphological disparity in Osteostraci (Vertebrata, stem-Gnathostomata)

Humberto Ferron, Jenny Greenwood, Bradley Deline, Carlos Martínez Pérez, Hector Botella, Robert Sansom, Marcello Ruta & Philip Donoghue
Morphological variation (disparity) is almost invariably characterised by two non-mutually exclusive approaches: (i) quantitatively, through geometric morphometrics, and (ii) in terms of discrete, ‘cladistic’, or categorical characters. Uncertainty over the comparability of these approaches diminishes the potential to obtain nomothetic insights into the evolution of morphological disparity and the few benchmarking studies conducted so far show contrasting results. Here, we apply both approaches to characterising morphology in the stem-gnathostome clade Osteostraci in order to assess...

Data package from 'Pantropical variability in tree crown allometry' Global Ecology and Biogeography 2021. DOI: 10.1111/geb.13231

Grace Jopaul Loubota Panzou, Adeline Fayolle, Tommaso Jucker, Oliver Phillips, Stephanie Bohlman, Lindsay F. Banin, Simon L. Lewis, Kofi Affum-Baffoe, Luciana F. Alves, Cécile Antin, Eric Arets, Luzmila Arroyo, Timothy R. Baker, Nicolas Barbier, Hans Beeckman, Uta Berger, Yannick Enock Bocko, Frans Bongers, Sam Bowers, Thom Brade, Eduardo S. Brondizio, Arthur Chantrain, Jerome Chave, Halidou Compaore & David Coomes

Targeted conservation genetics of the endangered chimpanzee

Peter Frandsen, Claudia Fontsere, Sven Nielsen, Kristian Hanghøj, Natalia Castejon-Fernandez, Esther Lizano, David Hughes, Jessica Hernandez-Rodriquez, Thorfinn Korneliussen, Frands Carlsen, Hans Siegismund, Thomas Mailund, Tomas Marques Bonet & Christina Hvilsom
Populations of the common chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes) are in an impending risk of going extinct in the wild as a consequence of damaging anthropogenic impact on their natural habitat and illegal pet and bushmeat trade. Conservation management programmes for the chimpanzee have been established outside their natural range (ex situ), and chimpanzees from these programmes could potentially be used to supplement future conservation initiatives in the wild (in situ). However, these programmes have often suffered...

Intrapopulation Variation in the Behavioural Responses of Dwarf Mongooses to Anthropogenic Noise

Emma Eastcott, Julie Kern, Amy Morris-Drake & Andrew Radford
Anthropogenic noise is an increasingly widespread pollutant, with a rapidly burgeoning literature demonstrating impacts on humans and other animals. However, most studies have simply considered if there is an effect of noise, examining the overall cohort response. Whilst substantial evidence exists for intraspecific variation in responses to other anthropogenic disturbances, this possibility has received relatively little experimental attention with respect to noise. Here, we used field-based playbacks with dwarf mongooses (Helogale parvula) to test how...

Nucleotide diversity of functionally different groups of immune response genes in Old World camels based on newly annotated and reference-guided assemblies

Jean Elbers, Sara Lado, Mark Rogers, José Melo-Ferreira, Jukka Corander, Petr Horin, Pamela Burger & Adiya Yadamsuren
Background Immune-response (IR) genes have an important role in the defense against highly variable pathogens, and therefore, genetic diversity in these genomic regions is essential for species’ survival and adaptation. Although current genome assemblies from Old World camelids are very useful for investigating genome-wide diversity, demography and population structure, they have inconsistencies and gaps that limit analyses at local genomic scales. Improved and more accurate genome assemblies and annotations are needed to study complex genomic...

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  • 2020
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Affiliations

  • University of Bristol
    52
  • University of Birmingham
    5
  • University of Manchester
    4
  • University College London
    4
  • University of Cambridge
    3
  • University of Exeter
    3
  • China University of Geosciences
    3
  • UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology
    2
  • Nanjing Institute of Geology and Paleontology
    2
  • University of Edinburgh
    2